Physicians armed with skill and knowledge can be the difference between life, death and whether a patient recovers his or her abilities after a stroke. After completing medical school and residency training, these doctors spend additional years in specialized fellowships to become experts in stroke care and other neurological diseases.
These physicians take different paths that all lead to the bedside of a patient having a stroke.
They include the:
* Interventional neurologist. A neurologist with specialized training in stroke neurology and expertise in performing image-guided, minimally invasive procedures to treat diseases of the brain and spine, using endovascular techniques and a variety of other tools. Hesham Masoud, MBBCh, is a vascular and interventional neurologist.
* Endovascular neuroradiologist. A radiologist who has expertise in using minimally invasive procedures to treat diseases of the blood vessels of the brain, also relying on radiologic images. Amar Swarnkar, MD, is an endovascular neuroradiologist and director of Upstate’s neuroradiology program.
* Endovascular neurosurgeon. A neurosurgeon who has developed a particular expertise in working inside the blood vessels of the brain. In addition to open brain surgery for blood vessel disease, he or she diagnoses and treats diseases and conditions using tools that go through the blood vessels, relying on radiologic images during the procedure. Grahame Gould, MD, is one of only a few dual-trained neurosurgeons specializing in both open surgery and interventional procedures for the treatment of neurovascular diseases including stroke.
The physicians collaborate as team members so that patients receive the individualized care they need from the physician with the most appropriate expertise for the patient’s condition. Depending on the type of stroke, some patients require rapid interventions or surgery that is available only at a comprehensive stroke center such as Upstate.
Some stroke-related terms
interventional (in-ter-ven’ shun nal) – using radiologic image guidance to gain access beneath the skin to treat conditions that otherwise would require surgery
neuro (nur’ o) – relates to nerves or the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and the nerve fibers that extend into all parts of the body
radiologic (ra-de-o-lahj’ ik) – medical imaging techniques, including X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and others
surgeon (ser’jun) – a medical doctor who practices surgery
Hear Masoud’s radio interview about minimally invasive techniques for stroke care. Hear Gould’s radio interview about options for stroke surgery. This article appears in the fall 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.